Dale Eggeling's passion for guinea pigs began in the fall of
1995 when her son, Dustin, brought home Tommy, the guinea pig
being raised by Dustin's second-grade class, for the weekend.
"It was love at first sight," says Dale. "He was so cute and
furry." A few months later Dustin's teacher decided that Tommy
needed a new home, and the Eggelings adopted him. Dale taught
Tommy tricks ("He squeaked and sat up on his hind legs for
treats," she says), took him to LPGA tournaments and even
brought him into the interview room. Dale was heartbroken when
Tommy died in July '98, and to fill the void she bought Tommy II
at Pet Corner, a store in Tampa. Her brood now comprises three
more males--Cinnaman, Mousy and Smokey--as well as two females,
Bandit and Candy.
Eggeling feeds her pigs only fresh food. They are especially
fond of timothy hay, grape tomatoes and orange slices. "My pigs
are wonderful therapy because they make me feel young," says
Eggeling, 46. "I guess I'm just a big kid at heart."
COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO Dale Eggeling's Guinea Pigs